December 25, 2006


An Astonishing Book

Reading the newsmedia’s daily dose of lies, their errors of omission and commission, has become an almost intolerable exercise for me. Jimmy Carter’s latest book is a refreshing change. The content of Jimmy Carter's book about Palestine has surprised me on so many levels that I don't know where to begin. Probably the biggest surprise has been that he doesn't write like a politician. He fearlessly tells the truth, and, with his background, he is in a position to know exactly what the truth is. His sole interest seems to be to tell the truth, rather than to protect any interests, which is again quite astonishing, especially in an ex-politician. Wasn’t politics supposed to be an institution whose function was to protect the interests of one socioeconomic class or another?

He tells the whole truth, and unhesitatingly points out lies and hypocrisies. To give a couple of brief examples: He explains that Israel’s supposed withdrawal from Gaza was no withdrawal at all, because Gaza remained completely under Israeli control. And he minces no words in describing Israel’s “security fence” as an “imprisonment wall.”

Predictably, various groups and individuals have accused Carter of being wrong or one-sided in his views. The reason they are so furious about the book is in fact the exact opposite of the expressed reasons. They hate the book exactly because it is not wrong or one-sided. In that sense, it is quite unlike nearly the entire content of the propaganda fed to us by the “newsmedia” and politicians. Reading what Jimmy Carter reveals will make you angry. For a change, though, what makes you angry will be the things that a politician is revealing, and not the things that he/she is hiding.

Update: President Carter's LA Times article

December 14, 2006


Imperialism as Taboo: The Missing Link between the Holocaust and 9/11

Turning certain subject into taboos is society’s way of dealing with deeply uncomfortable truths; in other words, it is society’s way of living with big lies.

Imperialism, that is, the politico-economic exploitation of the poor countries by and for the benefit of the rich ones, is one example. In the Third World, imperialism is not a taboo subject. Nearly everyone in the poor countries is aware of it, whether they call it by that name or think of it in some other way. For instance, it is often expressed as a deep sense of revulsion against the US government. In the US, this sentiment is dismissed as ‘anti-Americanism.’ Americans, as well as citizens of the other rich countries, have no wish to know how the wealth of their countries has been acquired. They prefer to sweep the whole mess under the carpet, and label any opposition to imperialism as ‘clash of civilizations,’ ‘extremism,’ or worse.

A more recent taboo arose out of the 9/11 events. Beginning on that very day, various authority figures, as well as the subservient Western newsmedia, have drummed into our brains that we were not supposed to talk about the causes of those attacks. More specifically, we were not supposed to talk about the exact mechanism by which a small group of individuals were led to contemplate and carry out this act. We were not supposed to think about the events that led to it or the reasoning that went into it. Instead, we were supposed to think of it as ‘an attack on our freedoms.’

The same thing can be said about the Jewish Holocaust. Beginning with the establishment of the State of Israel, discussion of the Holocaust turned into a taboo subject. Anyone who raised any questions about the official Holocaust doctrine was immediately branded an ‘anti-Semite,’ an ‘ultra-rightist,’ or worse. People were not supposed to talk about the chain of reasoning that led from the Holocaust to the establishment of the State of Israel.

The same Western powers who, in the 1930s, had turned away ships carrying Jewish refugees from their own shores, the same Western powers whose opinion of Jewish immigration was summarized as “None is too many,” had suddenly transformed themselves into the Jewish people’s best friends. We were not, however, supposed to wonder about their change of heart. It was a taboo to ask: Did the Western powers establish Israel simply as a destabilizing influence in the Middle East, so as to facilitate the continuation and deepening of imperialist exploitation in that region? It was a taboo to ask: Did the Western powers exploit the Holocaust to further their own agenda in the Middle East? It was a taboo to ask: Were the Jewish people doubly victimized, first by the Nazis, and then by the Western powers?

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